Nov 30, 2008
It just so happens that I'm in the middle of drama involving the farkakte new insurance from the Freelancers Union, which I use. These people decided to create an insurance company with new plans that are more expensive than the ones they had before but they are selling them as if they were cheaper and better, which they are not. They gave no warning, they consulted none of the members and now everyone is in an uproar and with good reason.
This and Michael Moore's excellent Sicko, which I saw yesterday, put me in a homicidal mind re the state of health coverage in this country.
Just to have to make sense of the freaking legal language, of what is a deductible and a coiunsurance and a copayment and what is covered and not covered is enough to give anyone a permanent migraine, if not a brain tumor. And still, evil forces beyond human comprehension still deny the American people universal health care. It is unfathomable to me what the American people have to suffer and to pay to get decent medical treatment. It is unfathomable that we are still not storming the barricades and asking for the execution (I'm a regular Robespierre) of those who think that socialized medicine is akin to communism and that we are going to lose our choice. What fucking choice? I will be paying $500 a month this year for insurance which requires me to pay $30 or $40 copays for medical appointments, and hospital deductibles and shit. And God forbid I get hit with a serious illness, because that is when the insurance companies start playing rough.
I'm not a huge fan of Michael Moore. I find his selfrighteousness off putting, but I do like his movies and I do thank him for making them and for putting it out there that things are not what they should be. In Sicko he shows case after case of perfectly regular people who have had to fight insurance companies to the death only to lose their children, their husbands, their homes, because the company would not approve treatment. He then does something fabulously provocative. He takes some 9/11 rescue workers to Guantanamo, which has wonderful free health care for all the detainees. When in Guantanamo no one opens the doors, he takes the Americans to Havana, to get medical care.
He shows you impressive hospitals with computers that seem to be working. An inhaler that costs a rescue worker $120 a piece here in the US, costs 3 Cuban pesos, or five American cents.
I'm not a fan of Castro and of his free P.R. courtesy of Michael Moore, but the point is that it is not possible that even Cuba has a better healthcare system than ours. Moore also visits Canada and England and France, where healthcare is universal and the standard of health and living much higher than ours (and the medical costs believe it or not, less). He makes it sound too good to be true, but even knowing that the system may be frayed around the edges, I'd rather have that than the miserable, expensive, unjust torture we have here. By this point everybody in America knows that our health system is not only not working, but it is a travesty and an insult and armed robbery. But where is the political will to change it? Moore shows what lobbyists from the health industry spend buying politicians. Like this, nothing is ever going to change. People will just have to endure tragedy so that insurance and drug companies can profit. That is the American way. It is repulsive.